The Summer of Letting Go

*I originally wrote this for goodreads, but books that give me the feels should be shared. Also, after my raving about it, I figured you should see it. Sorry it’s long.  Enjoy!!**
beautiful. just… beautiful. That is all i’m going to say as I try to order my thoughts coherently. because I’m pretty sure you’ll like this review better if they’re coherent. 
Let me just start by saying this: I should not read books that invoke cases of the feels (which is pretty much all of them) out in public. I may like all the warm gooey/sad feelings that books bring out. People in public may not appreciate my random laughter that a book can bring if they don’t understand the book.

But the book itself. Here’s what hit home hardest (and it surprisingly wasn’t the amount of guilt Frankie felt for her brother’s death): it was the fact that her mother was no longer a proper mother to her. I don’t know if it’s because I read this book on mother’s day, or because I don’t know what I’d do if my mother suddenly wasn’t the mom I know and love, but it just hit home. Their relationship, or lack thereof, just made me want to cry. 

Their relationship can basically be described like this: “I don’t know the last time I went out like this for hours on end. Maybe she trusts Lisette and Alex, or maybe these are freedoms that come from being almost sixteen. Or maybe she doesn’t care where I am” … I mean. A teenager should not be feeling that way about parents. And she feels that way. repeatedly. Hence, the feels and cases of heart breaking come in. 

So, let’s face it. Frankie’s mom isn’t paying attention. Her dad isn’t, either. She can get away with practically anything. and pretty much does (not that she does anything horrible, mind you). She just has all this free reign with her life, and she uses it wisely for a teen. 

She’s a great friend, for the most part. and she worries about it. a lot. Along with being worried about parents, she’s worried about how great a friend she is or someday will be. that is just awesomesauce. 

Then there’s Brook. I kind of felt that she was the adult version acting out whatever Frankie was internalizing, only for different reasons. Maybe that’s just me? Anyways. The two of them together helped the other heal. Brook accepted Frankie for who she, and Frankie helped Brook move forward. That was neat watching the two of them move forward together. 

It was also cool watching Frankie come out of her shell. Ever watch the movie sleepover? Kind of like that, only more and louder. I only wish that this book can be turned into a movie so I can watch that long yelling tirade Frankie gives to her mother towards the end about everything. seriously. 

Lastly, I will briefly mention that I didn’t entirely want the relationship between Frankie and who she ends up with to happen. I deff WAS NOT A FAN of how it went down. I kind of wanted her with Peter at first, hoping she’d realize how foolish her crush was on Bradley. Yeah, that changed. still not a fan of how it went down. But that’s just my opinion. 

And goodness. I could just keep going on and on and on. I really really want to. There’s just so much to say. So, I will leave some quotes that I liked, because man. This book had plenty of them. 

“I’m not sure I wanted to kill myself exactly. All I knew is that I wanted to be gone. To be invisible, to slip away. I wanted to feel the opposite of how I felt, which was solid and weighted and frozen. I felt my own inescapable presence in every breath, every step, which seemed totally cruel and unfair” 

“Most of the time we’re giggling, but partly I’m secretly overcome with this terrible sense of loss, this thought that Lisette is ending things and moving on without my permission” 

“But one thing that my parents had done, and done well, was protect me from the world knowing that I was the one responsible. In that one way, my mother had looked out for me and spared me public shame. She may hate me, but she doesn’t want other people to.” 

“I want all of it so bad. To be kissed by a boy. And touched. To feel whatever Bradley makes Lisette feel. To be wanted. I want that more than anything” — this takes some explaining, I guess. This struck home mostly because in my teenage years, I didn’t go chasing after guys. I had better things to do like make it out of high school alive. But now that I’m a bit older, there are just some days where I feel like this. 

“How awesome would it be to be a bird and just fly away.” — This also takes some explaining. There is no question mark, so it left me wondering if she already knew how awesome it would be to be a bird, or if she was actually questioning her thoughts. 

“But somehow, Mrs. Schyler seems different from my mother. Like she has the same dark moments my mother has, but around them she’s cheerful and light. As opposed to my mother, who seems like she has no memory of how to be light” 

“I think of my mother coming in here every week to vacuum and to wipe off all of Simon’s old things, and it makes me sad. It makes me feel sorry for her. Who is she keeping it clean for? It’s not as if Simon is ever coming back. I wish she’s raze the room, empty his things, turn it into something new and cheerful and productive.” 

“And I can see it now clearly, how happy Lisette is, and how sad I am, even when I think I’m celebrating. I stare at the girl on the screen. At me. I’m not Lisette, not blond and curvy and carefree. But I’m not bad: maybe even I’m pretty. But my eyes are so very sad” 

“I don’t know who I am. Or maybe I do know and I just can’t take the truth: that I am no longer just the girl who let her baby brother die. I’m moving on, even if it means moving on to being someone bold and fearless and wrong, who sneaks into places and steals other people’s boyfriends. And if I’m perfectly honest with myself, I’d rather be that. Let me like and thieve and screw up until I rot away in hell, but just don’t let me no one, nothing, except that other girl. Because that other girl, the sad-eyed one staring back from the photograph on my computer, I don’t want to be her anymore” — it’s like that one line from One Tree Hill where one of the characters says “How many moments can you look back and say, that’s when it all changed?” … well, this was Frankie’s. 

“Life is hard, Francesca; you of all people know that. It’s full of tragedies. Some big, some small. People hurt, they get lonely, they make mistakes. Even grown people. That’s not an excuse, I’m just telling you how it is. I’m not saying it makes it okay. Understand that. I’m not making excuses for anyone” 

“It’s hard, I know, but you try anyways, Francesca, you promise me? You keep on trying the best you can. And you know what? Sometimes life surprises you and rewards you for it more than you know. You never actually know what life will bring” 

“But it doesn’t matter how much you tell me if I don’t believe it myself” — Frankie to Lisette on beauty. 

… and end my beautiful review of this book.



3 thoughts on “The Summer of Letting Go

  1. I’m very touched by this detailed and beautiful review. Thank you for reading and taking so much time to share parts of my story.

    xox gae

    1. It’s really no problem! I actually got to the point where I just had to shut up about it otherwise it would have been a lot longer =) And yes, I sat there looking up most of what I underlined for the review so people could see why I enjoyed the book so much. Sometimes quotes help explain better than me trying to express myself. Thank you for writing such a lovely book!

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